I was at the annual car show in beautiful Sylvan Lake, Alberta recently and I spotted a truck in the show that really grabbed my interest.
It was registered in the show as a 1972 Chevy short-box pickup and it was owned by a car guy from a place called Glenwood New Mexico.
Glenwood, New Mexico is a very small community that is home to about 300 people and is 65 miles from a small New Mexico city of over 10,000 people called Silver City.
Just about the only familiar name to me in this story was Chevrolet and I really wanted to meet the owner.
For starters, I wanted to know why his stylish 1972 truck had a front clip from an older Chevy pickup. The front end of his truck was clearly donated from an earlier Chevy truck model and was at least two years older than a ’72 grille.
The truck had a 454 big block and was backed up by a 5-speed manual transmission. Overall the Chevy was a clean driver with a sporty paint job and the sharp style of a short-box pickup truck.
I also wanted to know how and why a 1972 Chevy truck from Glenwood New Mexico was at a car show in a western Canadian resort town that was one day and 2 hours from its home. The distance down the highway from Glenwood to Sylvan Lake is about 1600 miles or 2600 km. Any way you measure the distance, it was clear the Chevy and its owner were both a long way from home.
The Sylvan Lake car show is a good production and features some amazing vehicles with great stories behind them. This show even had a wedding party show up anticipating a few shots with some of the many cars at the event, although the bride and groom arrived shortly after storm clouds were in the area and many of the cars were gone.
Nothing clears out a car show faster than a threat of bad weather and this one was no exception. I thought I would actually benefit from an abrupt end to the show because I would locate the owner of the 1972 Chevy, a guy who travelled 1600 long miles to be at the show.
Then I could ask him why he chose to drive so far to attend a show and how was the trip. I could ask him if a 454 Chevy engine with a 5-speed tranny in a light pickup was able to travel to the show economically enough for him to avoid selling his first born child to cover the gas bill.
So many questions and so few owners-I never did find the guy and he never called, even though I left a business card and a short note explaining why I wanted to interview him. We at MSCC have found that the odds of a car guy response to our under-the-windshield notes and cards are pretty long.
Frankly, we expect a return phone call from Mila Kunis or Jennifer Aniston long before we expect a return phone call from most car guys when it comes to an interview request left with a vehicle. The owner of the 1972 Chevy truck from New Mexico was no exception to the rule and we do not hold much hope that we will ever get the story behind his journey.
We won’t hang around our phone waiting for the guy to call while we sing that pathetically desperate Vikki Carr “It Must be Him” song either. Another great car story is always right around the corner and all we have to do is actually track down the owner to get the story.
It is that easy and that hard in practice.
NEXT CASE-The Strange Case of the Missing Morris Minor Owner at the Sylvan show…feel free to call too.